ADD: The Mainstream Media Disease

know you are not in the audience if you have read this far in this article
Indeed, and proud of it, too! A great article, as always.

Last year I posted (with apologies for the shameless self-promotion) about Associated Press Deficit Disorder: the innatention of Associated Press and other news agencies to the actual words said by a person who doesn't fit what AP wants to hear. Your essay explains the subject in a much more coherent and eloquent manner.

Posted by Fausta at June 26, 2006 9:03 AM

In any milieu, 95% of a population live well or poorly as heedless slaves of that 5% who fit society to their ideas. Largely subliminal, "ideas" in this sense are no less real... and they do change, often abruptly, unpredictably, but always reflecting what Keynes called "the doctrine of some defunct economist" (he meant Marx, but the post-1918 culture of defeat and pessimism built on nihilistic relativism will do as well).

Today's mass media is populated all but exclusively with radical 1960s narcissists (see Christopher Lasch, c. 1980). Under no circumstances will they contribute anything positive to anyone, or accept responsibility in trust for future generations. "Culture of death" is but a partial consequence... in the West what we have witnessed since 1918 is a Culture of Koolaid, Suicide, one with a collective death-wish for newborns and productive others pending the narcissists' long-awaited die-off: Their Final Solution to competition, risk-avoidance, indeed to solipsistic acknowledgment of any sentient entities other than themselves.

Nuanced enough? The test is simple. Hating life means to hate America. Hating America means to do everything in one's power to kill off the Founders' ideal of democracy within a federal republic. Killing the Ideal means aiding and abetting its barbaric enemies.

Born in 1920, my daughter's grandmother has seen a lot, but nowhere near what Ashley, born 1985, will have seen by 2071. I hope her burka's not too tight, and that purdah suits her well. She may laugh now, but sedition and treachery on the NYT's level will bring Shari'a faster than she thinks.

Posted by John Blake at June 26, 2006 11:34 AM

Doctors feel free to drug up the children suffering from this "disease", without their consent and sometimes even without the consent of the parents. So how about the rest of us give the old media some involuntary medication for their illness?

I think about a cup of morphine each should do it for them. Let's start with those jackals over at the New York Times.

There, I feel better already.

Posted by AskMom at June 26, 2006 11:37 AM

Bravo, Gerard.

All the way through in one lick for me - but now I don't have time to hit the twelve sites that are my daily news digest!

Off to work...

Posted by TmjUtah at June 26, 2006 6:33 PM

As Henry James said, journalism is the criticism of the moment at the moment, which results in the violent fragmentation of time. Since time is the form of our inner sense, you can make people quite insensible by disrupting the organic rhythm and unfoldment of temporality, and breaking it into disjointed bits. It's not so much a passive deficit of attention as an aggressive assault on the qualitative aspect of time. As a matter of fact, it's what psychotics do to make sure reality doesn't happen to them. Muslims do a similar thing by insisting that Allah intervenes "vertically" to create each moment anew, without reference to past or future, thus assuring that nothing is learned.

Posted by Gagdad Bob at June 26, 2006 9:28 PM

I spent several weeks in Canada a couple of years ago, and was amazed at the difference in the newpaper that was part of the hotel hospitality. Unlike "USA Today" which can be scanned for anything worthwhile, should it exist, in a few minutes, I was unable to read everything of interest in under two hours, and I have a very high reading rate.

Canadian reporters actually expected everyone to have at least a high school level reading ability. What a refreshing change. Granted at that time the political climate was pretty sorry, but it was very well covered in the press.

Posted by Bill at June 26, 2006 10:19 PM

9 year old boys don't multi-task, they're just really good at switching tracks. :)

That aside, I do agree with you. We are presented with information packaged so we don't really pay attention to it. Instead of focusing we act as scatter brained as a flibertigibbet on meth.

It's a pain.

Posted by Alan Kellogg at June 27, 2006 1:08 PM

(Taking a short clip out of the pile in the middle of the room...)

"A few mind bending minutes listening to Michael Savage will establish this point with the force of a power drill being run into your ear at high speed."

This is true. However, to pick Savage - and Coulter - as examples of the median is perhaps ingenuous.

I could cite Randi Rhodes from Air America, and retreat, having trumped all your cards.

Talk radio has many fine examples of reasonable people. Opinionated, certainly, but the fascination for wishy-washy types is somewhat minuscule, and defintiely disappointing to advertisers.

I only listen to talk radio while I'm in my car - maybe as much as an hour total a day. I give you Laura Ingraham (former USSC law clerk), Michael Medved (who happily takes calls from people who disagree with him almost all the time), Larry Elder, ...

It's a bit like blogs. The doubtable (as opposed to redoubtable) James Wolcott, among others, thinks that blog-land is all about people wanting to show their recipies and complain about the morning's commute.

American Digest, among many, prove that there is more real content and thought in today's blogs than in a year's worth of NYT files.

Posted by ZZMike at June 29, 2006 6:41 PM

As a personal aside, as a child growing up in Dayton, Ohio, there was an afternoon talk-show, call-in show in the '60's hosted by...Phil Donahue! (We're talkin' over 40 years ago, folks.)
I was just a kid, but it was interesting, and Phil had years to go before he went off the cliff into the intellectual and emotional swamp he's in today (seduced by money and popularity and his own swelling ego).
There is a lesson in the seductive power of money, advertising and marketing to subvert the public display of intellegence on radio, television or the published word. Eventually, anything and everything that is mass-marketed can be corrupted, reduced to the lowest common denominator.
Like Gerard says, the Internet may be the cure. People of intelligence and judgement will seek out that which has quality, despite how it is marketed.

Posted by David at June 29, 2006 8:16 PM

nice piece

Posted by OhBloodyHell at July 2, 2006 2:16 AM

nice piece.

Long, but that's only appropos for something about ADD.

Posted by OhBloodyHell at July 2, 2006 2:17 AM

Nice piece.

Long, but that's only appropos for something about ADD.

Hey, I just clicked "post" 37 times waitinf for this thing to post...

Posted by OhBloodyHell at July 2, 2006 2:18 AM


Couldn't have worked it out better if I tried.

Posted by OhBloodyHell at July 2, 2006 2:31 AM

Preach it, brother!
Stayed for the whole sermon. And feel the better for it.

Posted by Jimmy J. at April 3, 2008 10:23 AM

As kids in the late 50's we tried Robitussin AC, Seconals, Tuminols, Doriden, Turpin Hydrate with Codeine. Talk about a deficit of attention. When we were kids we had to get all this stuff ourselves, now doctors give them all kinds of stuff. Kids today are spoiled.

Posted by Dennis at April 3, 2008 9:42 PM

Another wonderful post! It seems to me, however, that one should consider... oh look! Something shiny!

Posted by Clayton Barnett at April 4, 2008 5:26 AM

John Blake said:

Today's mass media is populated all but exclusively with radical 1960s narcissists (see Christopher Lasch, c. 1980).

John, I trust you're referring to "Revolt of the Elites".

Excellent book by a person who, along with Daniel Patrick Moynihan, falls into that VERY small group of what I call intellectually honest liberals.

Yesterday I heard a conservative talk show host promoting a book on the Middle East by a liberal journalist- he said something like

'While I don't agree with all of her positions, the facts and insights in this book are so impressive that I am compelled to tell everybody about it and recommend that they read it.'

You don't ever hear liberals recommend reading something that might expose them to ideas which are counter to their pre-established worldview.

Posted by WWWebb at April 4, 2008 7:39 AM

The news media seems to report the same type of stories over and over. To wit:
A. Weather, fires and floods. This never ends.
B. The latest murder du jour. The current murder forgotten within one day, to be replaced by the next murder.
C. Health. For women it is typically breast cancer. For men colon cancer. And obesity.
D. Food. Too much coffee is good for you, too much coffee is bad for you. Chocolate prevents assorted ailments. Chocolate causes assorted ailments.
E. Lindsay Lohan.
Everyone reads from the script. Thank goodness for the weather girl in the low cut dress.

Posted by Jim at June 24, 2012 12:13 AM


someone got a précis?

Posted by pdwalker at June 24, 2012 7:18 AM

There's a smart^wdumb ass in every crowd. Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Wow, 9 years ago, you wrote this. It's even more true now.

Posted by at June 24, 2012 7:22 AM

Thanks, I needed that.

Posted by Jim at June 24, 2012 10:22 PM